Azerbaijan and Iran, for years, have been pursuing mutual interests in various spheres of cooperation and have achieved noticeable progress in cooperation in the non-oil sphere, which is not major in the economies of both countries.
Shahin Mustafayev, Azerbaijani Economy Minister and Co-chairman of the Azerbaijan-Iran State Commission for Economic, Commercial and Humanitarian Cooperation, has visited Iran, where he met with the country’s officials.
The Azerbaijani delegation held meetings with the President Rouhani’s Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi, and Iran’s minister of economic affairs and finance.
During the meetings, the parties emphasized that there is enormous potential in expanding cooperation in the field of transport, energy, industry, health care, agriculture, ICT, tourism and other spheres.
One of the important areas of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran is transport and transit; in particular, the development of the International North-South Transport Corridor.
The projects implemented by Azerbaijan and Iran, designed to integrate regional transport networks, will increase the competitiveness of the International North-South Transport Corridor as well as deepen the relations in the regional format.
It was noted at the meetings that the expansion of cooperation in the transport sector will contribute to strengthening the transport-transit and trade-economic potential of Azerbaijan and Iran, as well as to increase the volume of traffic.
The meetings also touched upon the implementation of the e-TIR pilot project, which has already begun and provides for the complete electronic transit operations between the two countries to improve the operation of border crossing points.
The e-TIR system offers benefits to all actors involved in the TIR system and brings additional security and risk management opportunities, thus reducing the risk of fraud.
The e-TIR international system aims to ensure the secure exchange of data between national customs systems related to the international transit of goods, vehicles or containers according to the provisions of the TIR Convention and to allow customs to manage the data on guarantees, issued by guarantee chains to holders authorized to use the TIR system.
The first phase of Iran-Azerbaijan e-TIR project officially started on May 22, 2019.
Currently, Azerbaijan and Iran cooperate within the joint car production plant in Neftchala Industrial Zone, Caspian Pharmed joint pharmaceutical plant in Pirallahi Industrial Park and Khodafarin hydro power plant.
Azerbaijan and Iran are also working on joint projects in the field of engineering, pharmaceuticals and the food industry.
Iranian Trade Center, opened in Baku, fully supports trade relations between the businessmen of the two countries and helps them solve problems.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran increased 2.3 times in the first five months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
* Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is an economy columnist who writes for azernews.az.